Using TextEdit Instead of Mac Notes

While Notes has become a robust system on the Mac, using TextEdit has some advantages such as recovering deleted information, restoring from Time Machine, and being able to store information alongside other files in a project.

Comments: 22 Responses to “Using TextEdit Instead of Mac Notes”

    Frank Scully
    4 months ago

    One reason I can't completely wean myself from NOTES is I share with others some of my notes where we each can update the note. One example is a food shopping list with checkmarks. As anyone in our family notices something to add to the list they simply uncheck it, then when purchased it is check marked again.

    Peter Dube
    4 months ago

    Damn you Gary! smile. A year ago I spent weeks converting all of my OneNote files to Apple Notes! Now I get to do it all over again to Text/Edit and or Pages. I do know what you are talking about with the limitations of where Notes files are stored, not an ideal situation. Much rather use Folders and sub folders!

    Well, thanks again for a VERY valuable sharing of the advanced knowledge that you have!

    I wonder if Apple is considering or working on how to sync and edit rtf and rtfd's

    Fran H
    4 months ago

    Thanks for very informative video. Use of TextEdit in place of Notes would solve some issues I have been experiencing that you mentioned...However, the drawbacks you noted
    are important to consider.. Apple has some things it can improve in this area for sure.

    Lawrence
    4 months ago

    You mentioned using Pages as Notes. Is there a way to set up Pages as Notes? That is to say, have a key command to easy access procedure that will always store whatever you enter in the Cloud so I can access it on my Laptop when out of the office.

    Swapy
    4 months ago

    Your videos are always insightful however I cannot disagree more on this one. Text Edit is rubbish beyond imagination. I have tried to look to get other applications like notepad++ but couldn't get. Using Notes at least gives you a seamless integration with iPhone. Text edit is just absolute rubbish.

    4 months ago

    Lawrence: Not sure what you mean by "key command to easy access procedure." By using Pages document as Notes I mean just create Pages documents. Certainly store them in an iCloud Drive folder(s). Organize as you like.

    4 months ago

    Swapy: What, exactly, makes TextEdit "rubbish?" What don't you like about it. It does what it is supposed to do very well. Maybe you are expecting features it just isn't meant to have?

    Nupe Flossberg
    4 months ago

    Gary, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I always encourage people to save mission critical data into actual documents rather than the Notes app. The app that is used can vary and would be best decided by the user themselves based on device availability. I have seen folks lose Notes data and become more than distraught upon being told that there is no way to restore them. I illustrate this as having your legal documents on a series of real Post It Notes, or printed out as an actual document.

    Peter Dube
    4 months ago

    Gary, So I decided to start to convert from Notes to Pages for all the reasons that you described. Plus I need a project. Hit a snag in Pages. How do I create an interactive check box, one that I can make a make or remove a checkmark in with any device, Mac iPhone etc? Thanks a bunch!

    4 months ago

    Peter: You can't. You can just put a character, like a box, and then use a checkmark. Or any variation like that. In text files the usual thing to use was [ ] for unchecked and [x] for checked.

    Dana Schwartz
    4 months ago

    Notes should absolutely be recoverable via Time Machine.

    (Why hasn’t anyone mentioned that Mail messages are no longer recoverable via Time Machine? Found that out with a recent massive loss of mail contents from the old unfixed Catalina bug, while using Monterey. TG for Mail Archiver X.)

    peter dube
    4 months ago

    thanks Gary. Simple is elegant. [X] - Bananas

    Peter Dube
    4 months ago

    Now that I think I will convert from Notes to Pages, is there an efficient way to do the Notes to Pages conversion. Simply copy and paste?

    4 months ago

    Peter: Copy and paste, organize along the way. You don't need to choose one or the other. You probably have things that work better in Notes, and other things that work better as documents.

    Ann MacKay
    4 months ago

    Wow! I have a new respect for TextEdit. I did not realize there were so many features! Thanks for the video.

    Peter Dube
    4 months ago

    Ann MacKay: I agree, who knew about all the capabilities included in what appeared to be a simple text editor. The thing that convinced me to choose Pages instead of TextEdit was the ability to have access to the “note” on all devices.

    This switch was triggered by Gary letting us know there was no recovery if you accidentally delete a Note! I have mission critical info in my Notes ensemble. About 273 different Notes! Legal stuff. Stuff that cant easily be recreated. Imagine deleteing

    peter dube
    4 months ago

    In making the conversion from Notes to Pages, by selecting All in notes and pasting to Pages. You need to be aware that embedded PDFs in Notes will result in only the first page of the PDF being copied over. Just a FYI.

    Bent, Denmark
    4 months ago

    As always you are many steps ahead of me. I had started - by intuition - what you describe, but first now it has been put into a frame of philosophy and principles. Your video has been a great help.

    Kathy
    4 months ago

    Hi Gary, Wonderful video as always, thank you. Is there a certain number of 'Notes' one can keep in the Notes App or are the number of Notes allowed related only to the amount of iCloud storage you have? Thank you.

    4 months ago

    Kathy: I don't think there is any limit on the number of notes you can have.

    Judith
    4 months ago

    I'm a great fan of TextEdit!

    My favorite feature of TextEdit is the ability to select text and move it around by dragging and dropping. I'm also able to drag and drop text from TextEdit to other applications like Mail and Pages.

    Gary, I learned about the drag and drop feature from one of your earlier videos about Mac hidden features.

    Thanks!

    D Heinrich
    3 months ago

    The great strength of Notes is having all the info automatically sync to my iPhone. I can type a few notes on the Mac, race out and have them accessible on the phone immediately. And vice versa. But I did learn here, thank you, that there is no backup to Notes. That is shocking. I thought Time Machine was intended to restore the state of your computer completely in the case of a theft or such. I guess the thing to do is to not keep documents in Notes long term. Keep the notes to a minimum.

Leave a New Comment Related to "Using TextEdit Instead of Mac Notes"

:
:
:
0/500 (500 character limit -- please state your comment succinctly and do not try to get around this limit by posting two comments)